Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page


For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).

A plan for bait.

Since catching two decent bass on baits fished close in on the first of the flood I've hatched a bit of a plan. Now I'm no better than the next angler at sticking to plans so it may never be completed but I'll say what I intend doing. Two good fish in two short sessions, each from a different spot, was enough to encourage me to try again so I thought it would be a good idea to find as many places as I could where the tactics would work. My next effort at another spot was a blank. Only a few blennies plucked at the bait in the hour or so that I was fishing. For my fourth attempt I went back to the place that I'd had the second bass (see - I'm not very strong willed). Again I was armed with my four piece spinning rod, Whiplash braid, a clear Amnesia trace and a 6/0 circle hook. The bait was another side of my long frozen mackerel (in the freezer since I caught it last year and looking like it). I trudged along to my mark at low water, hooked the fillet through the thin end only and dropped it a couple of metres from the edge. The sea was pretty calm and the water was clear so with no wind it was easy to keep contact with the bait.

I perched on a boulder and held the rod across my knees with the bale arm open and the line held between the fingers of my left hand. At this point all there is to do is wait and watch for the tide beginning to come in. In this case I fixed on a rock which stood about 20cm clear of the water. It was probably twenty minutes or so before the water began to lap over the top of my rock and to be fair it would be a bit like watching paint dry if it were not for the anticipation of a bite.

Quite suddenly the line twitched (at first you hardly believe it) then it twitched again, clearly something was interested in the bait. I think at this point I'd stopped breathing and I had to try and relax. Sure enough after a few seconds the line began to run out and it was drawn though my fingers faster and faster. After about ten metres had gone I gently closed the bale arm, taking care that the braid was over the roller. It drew tight, the rod began to bend and with a sharp pluck the fish had gone. "Oh deary me!" I muttered. I was uncertain whether the fish might have removed my bait but I waited for five minutes before winding in. The mackerel was still in mint condition (well it was no mankier than when I'd put it on the hook) so I gently swung it out again a couple of metres to the right of where it had been the first time.

At this point I began to wonder whether I'd missed my chance and with every passing minute the doubt grew in my mind but then - pluck! pluck! - something else was having a nibble. Almost at once the line began streaming out again so once more I waited for it to go some distance before tightening. This time the rod hooped round and with a boil and a sploosh I knew I was into a bass. The fish took some line against a tightish check so I was sure that it wan't just a schoolie. However, it was soon sliding ashore to have its picture taken. Fifty three centimetres on my little tape and a little under two kilograms so not bad at all. It was a bit gritty after being slid ashore so I gave it a wipe and gently put it back into the water. It took a few seconds before righting itself and surging off out to sea.

So, that was four bites in four sessions and three fish landed. Although the third one was not very big compared to its predecessors I reckoned that four runs in four trips was pretty good. Of course the one I caught could have been the same one that I missed, I'll never know. When I went for a fifth time (to an untried place) it was a total blank. Nevertheless I'm still enthusiastic about the tactics. It has always seemed to me that if you can devise methods that work for every state of tide and set of sea conditions you are in business so the low water plan is still strongly favoured and I intend sticking to it for as long as I can.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -

Nice fish.

No monster but plenty of excitement catching it.  Note the remains of the large mackerel fillet.


I'm gradually improving at taking my own picture.  See my nice pink bag in the background!